Lt. Col. Wm. Gordon Coloney
World War II

 

Lt. Col. Wm. Gordon Coloney,
in active service

 


Sometimes in life, you have a mission.  At the call for service men during World War II, Gordon Coloney knew what his was.

Gordon, a young man born and raised in Broadalbin, N. Y., entered the Air Force.  He married Carol, his high school sweetheart, but soon volunteered for duty at the start of World War II.

His incredible military WWII experience includes 50 missions in a P 51 mustang, single engine, single seat fighter and and 1 mission in the B17 flying fortress.

He went to Italy with 42 other fighter pilots. Of them, five returned. Most of them were barely 21 years of age and some were younger.  He volunteered for any mission or flights that he could get. That enabled Gordon to get the missions quicker than the others.

Gordon reflects back on the B17 mission:

"The B17 mission was landing behind enemy lines to rescue American flight crews that had been shot down and were found by Czechoslovak patriots. I volunteered for the mission to retrieve a P51 that had landed there on a previous mission, with engine problems. Eventually, the Nazis overcame the Czechs. Eleven of our Navy folks, who were assisting the Czechs, were captured along with an AP reporter who went with us on the B17.  The reporter insisted on staying for he felt it would be the greatest story of his life. The Nazis did overwhelm the area and notified our government that they were executing all 12 Americans. Our government asked that they not execute the reporter as he was not a soldier. After more debate, our Government received word that all 12 were executed."

Still today, the Czechs have reunions there inviting him and all surviving members and their families.  Though Gordon has not yet been able to attend, he is looking forward to possibly one day returning.

After the War:

Gordon stayed in the service and through the years continued to fly.

Gordon comments:  "Those of us that stayed in the service and continued to fly fighters found that the transition to the new jet fighters was as dangerous as the wartime flights and we lost many of the pilots and aircraft."

Since retiring from the service he has spent many hours doing aerial photos from his airplane around the area.  He and his wife currently reside in Broadalbin.  If you would like to see how Good Gordon spends his time today, go to:  Airphoto.org

An example of Gordon's skill, he graciously contributed the aerial shot of the Veteran's Monuments at:  Broadalbin's Honor Rolls.

On June 9, 2001 Gordon and his wife, Carol, will celebrate  57 wonderful years of marriage!  Congratulations!  "The Lord made her especially for me and I tell her that many times a day as I thank the Lord."


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Copyright 2001, Gordon Coloney
Copyright 2001, Jeanette Shiel
All Rights Reserved.


Last updated Tuesday, 13-May-2008 13:36:36 PDT